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Gold, ETFs, the Fed, and Equity Valuations

Over the past year or two, as the broad equity indexes moved from one high to the next, institutional money – seeking higher quarterly returns – has been moving out of gold and into stocks. This institutional flight from gold by Western investors may have been the single-most important factor weighing on gold prices in the past couple of years – and it owes much to the introduction and popular acceptance of gold exchange-traded funds over the past decade. ...

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The Fed Tapers and Gold Topples

Surprised?  So am I, both by the Fed’s decision, announced this past Wednesday, to taper back its easy-money policies of the past year . . . and, even more so, by the subsequent fall in gold and silver prices. In fact, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke surprised many investors, traders, and analysts, announcing the Fed would cut back its monthly asset purchases by a relatively modest $10 billion in January – and continue “in further measured steps” if the economic recovery stays on track. To understand my own expectations ahead of the Fed announcement, read my last commentary ...

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Gold This Week — Eyes on U.S. Monetary Policy

Precious metals and the broader financial markets continue to react to the latest economic news, both statistical and political, with traders and investors guessing how each new bit of information on the economy may affect the Fed’s decision – when and by how much – to cut back, or taper, its $85 billion per month bond-buying program. It has become the accepted wisdom of the markets that rosy economic prospects increase the odds that the central bank will choose to begin tapering sooner rather than later . . . and expectations of reduced monetary stimulus have been one of the key bearish ...

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Gold Slumps as Wall Street Soars

With the Dow topping 16000 and the S&P500 index reaching 1800 – both psychologically important levels – gold continues to be an innocent victim of the frenzy on Wall Street. Trading around $1245 an ounce the metal’s price is off some 25 percent from the start of 2013 and is 35 percent below its September 2011 all-time high. Reflecting the super-stimulative monetary policies currently pursued by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, and the European Central Bank, U.S. and world equity markets are achieving new all-time highs as more and more investors jump on the stock-market ...

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Tapered Expectations

Long constrained between $1,180 and $1,300 an ounce, gold has finally broken out on the upside, only to find itself trading within a new, albeit higher, range. Gold now enjoys a "floor" of solid support at $1,300 with initial support kicking in around $1,340. On the upside, initial resistance kicks in around $1,385 and continues up to the psychologically important $1,400 level - but, as outlined below, this "ceiling" could prove vulnerable in the weeks ahead. ...

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A Quick Note on Inflation, Unemployment, and Fed Targeting

There was a time when price stability and well-behaved indicators of inflation would send gold prices lower.  After all, many investors and savers typically buy and hold gold as an inflation hedge.  With little inflation in sight, prospective buyers would not be expected to stock up on the yellow metal . . . and some might even wish to reduce their bullion holdings. Uncharacteristically, today’s (Tuesday's) news that U.S. producer prices were flat in July sent gold prices up more than $12 an ounce in New York trading. ...

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Gold Market Update

Although continued “uncertainty” and “caution” remain the gold market’s watchwords, the odds favor further gold-price recovery in the weeks and months ahead -- despite continuing attempts by large-scale speculators and institutional traders,  driven by computer models and momentum indicators, to knock gold prices lower. For the moment, we believe gold prices are still in a “bottoming phase” and may have more work, technically speaking, around recent levels before breaking through overhead resistance and moving substantially higher.   ...

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Gold, the Economy, and a Whiff of Stagflation

It was only a matter of time before gold prices broke through overhead resistance at the technically important $1,300 an ounce level.  Now, $1,300 - plus or minus a few dollars - may be the new floor . . . and it looks like $1,350 may be the new ceiling. ...

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Fed Policy: A Quick Note

At this morning's presentation to the House Financial Services Committee, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said reductions of the Fed's bond-buying program, known as Quantitative Easing or simply QE, is "by no means on a preset course" and that the Fed could leave the program intact-or even increase purchases-if warranted. Most Fed watchers and financial market participants -- including many gold traders and investors -- are betting QE3 will continue with monthly asset purchases of $85 billion for another quarter or two before a gradual reduction and winding down of the current ...

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